Hello adventurers and welcome to the first match of the Blogger Blitz competition! Today, NekoJonez and LightningEllen face off in the ultimate test of ability – salesmanship. Each blogger has selected a character to bring to the match, and their mission is to prove that their character can choose and market a better product than their opponent.
To compete, each blogger submitted an article earlier this week on Monday. If you’ve missed those articles, you’ll want to read them first, as this post will discuss the results of their bout. You can read the argument for Indiana Jones here, and the argument for Lightning Farron here. Be sure to check out the articles and give those bloggers a follow if you haven’t yet!
Once those posts were submitted, a panel of five hardworking judges began analyzing. They looked at the characters, their products, and their marketing strategies to determine who they thought would bring home the bacon in this week’s event. Those judges are Athena from AmbiGaming Corner, Geddy from Nostalgia Trigger, James from Quickly Tap X, Chris from Overthinker Y, and my wife Destiny representing Adventure Rules. I highly recommend each of their blogs, so go and check them out!
Two competitors, five judges – only one blogger can come out as the winner today, adventurers. So let us mince no more words! Cue some epic battle music, and let the Retail Rumble begin!
For this first match, both bloggers chose to take the narrative approach. NekoJonez tells the story of how Indiana is desperately fighting to stay in the good graces of Disney and to get his franchise back on top. Meanwhile, LightningEllen takes a different approach in that the beginning of her story focuses on her efforts to get Lightning to actually, you know, participate in these crazy shenanigans.
One choice we see early on is that Ellen encourages her champion to wear a skimpy outfit in order to push her product. “Sex sells,” they say, and Team Lightning decides to use this to their advantage in order to woo the corporate pigs who will be making the final decision about which product to sell. But while the corporate pigs might have been impressed by this approach, the judges certainly were not! Athena stated “her purposefully using sex to sell something made it come across (for me) as her not having faith in the product she was selling.”
Of course, Lightning’s reluctance to go through with such a plan helped her out in the long run. In fact, both competitors portrayed the personalities of their characters quite well. Multiple judges commented on how each marketing approach made sense for that character, which is certainly a wonderful testament as to the skill of these two competitors.
So what products did these two characters market? Indiana Jones chose to go all-out on nostalgia by banking on his famous costume. The hat, the whip, the vest, the whole nine yards. Meanwhile, Lightning chose to market her signature weapon, the Gunblade. The Gunblade’s “cool” factor was a big selling point for Lightning, and many of the judges were pleased with this choice.
Of course, just because Indy chose a costume doesn’t mean that his product doesn’t have any fight power. The judges were split pretty much down the middle over whose product would have a broader audience. While Athena felt that both products would go to a pretty niche crowd, James stated that he would buy BOTH of these products. “In an ideal world we’d…all walk around like the coolest ever archaeologist, but with an added Gunblade to finish off the ensemble.” Looks like at least one judge falls into two very niche crowds at the same time!
When it comes to marketability, though, Destiny felt that the costume would reach the widest audience. She said of Lightning, “she is specifically targeting military and they would need to be specially trained to use that specific weapon.” Conversely, when it comes to Indiana’s costume, “there are so many cosplayers, and even people who don’t cosplay but love the Indiana Jones movies and would love to have that as a collector’s item.” Add to that the fact that Indy cleverly designed costumes for both male and female fans – Athena in particular pointed this out as a strong point of Neko’s argument – and it looks like the costume is a lot more likely than the Gunblade to reach a larger crowd of people.
Hear that music change? Looks like Lightning is on the ropes – but the match isn’t over yet! We’ve got 500 words worth of content to analyze and we’re just getting started. One technique employed by both competitors is the “reference.” If you’re not familiar with this technique, it’s when you make an allusion to something else by-
Oh, you know what a reference is? Got it, moving on.
Geddy stated that he personally loved how both characters made references to the other, particularly how the enemy to defeat in Lightning’s pitch was a grouping of Indy’s worst enemy: snakes. Not only was this a clever reference to her opponent’s media, but in Geddy’s mind “it would undoubtedly impress the judges and win them over!” Both Neko and Ellen made quips at the other using content from their universe, but Ellen made hers front-and-center and it stood out in a way that made Lightning look like a hero compared to Indy’s paltry efforts.
When it came to marketing strategies, both characters stuck to what they know. To borrow Athena’s words, “these marketing pitches were very safe, with a special forces weapon being marketed for special forces, and an iconic costume being marketed for people who like costumes.” By focusing on what they knew, these characters were able to very comfortably pitch their ideas without taking too much of a risk.
However, the judges found that Indy’s marketing strategy didn’t make sense in some ways. He mentions in his presentation that the goal of his pitch is to counteract the bad press from Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, but Chris didn’t quite buy that. “I don’t think even Indy’s own phenomenal merchandising efforts can redeem Kingdom of the Crystal Skull!” It didn’t help that Indy’s costume pitch involved fan-based projects. He stated that the costume would be great for folks who wanted to make fan films, to which Athena responded “I’m not sure how an executive would feel about a person’s marketing strategy including wanting to make fan movies seem more like the real, canon deal.”
None of this, of course, is to say that Indiana’s overall presentation was poor or that NekoJonez did anything less than excellent. Many judges thought of this first match as a close one! Athena felt that “both fit the characters and were presented in believable ways.” Chris “really enjoyed reading the stories,” and James encourages both competitors to “keep doing what you’ve been doing, given the strong start/embracing the spirit of the competition!”
Still, my grandpa says that close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, and someone has to win this thing, right? In addition to making comments about specific sections of each article and sharing their thoughts on the strengths and weaknesses of each article, every one of the five judges cast a vote on which character they felt was the winner of the match. And now, the time has come to tally those votes and determine the winner of this battle once and for all!
Ah yes, I can hear the classic Final Fantasy victory fanfare playing as LightningEllen claims the first win of the Blogger Blitz! Although Indy’s costume was seen as perhaps being marketable to a larger crowd, Lightning’s Gunblade was seen overall as cooler and more practical. Additionally, Lightning’s strategy of demonstrating the usefulness of her product with actions caught the judges’ attention – many mentioned how her aggressive nature played right into why her piece worked well. Although “the sexy” was generally frowned upon, it wasn’t enough to keep Lightning from claiming the first round.
So congratulations to LightningEllen on being our first winner in the first round of the Blogger Blitz! As for NekoJonez, you better not tune him out – losing competitors still have a role to play in the competition, one that even they don’t fully understand yet. Both competitors fought valiantly and deserve congratulations, so be sure to go visit their respective blogs and check out their other work. You’ll be glad you did!
Finally, a word of advice to any and all competitors who have read today’s match – Chris would like to state that everyone should make sure to use your limited 500 words to get in as much of a good argument as possible. You don’t have a lot of time to work with in this competition, so every word you say needs to be a word carefully chosen to help convey your point. Excellent advice from an excellent judge!
I want to say thank you again to both of our competitors as well as to our five amazing judges for their hard work. If you enjoyed today’s match, then get excited – there’s more where this came from! On Monday, August 7th, Later Levels and Hundstrasse will face off in the next event, Mail Delivery. I’ll be posting the results of that match a week from today on Friday, August 11th, so be sure to read their posts on Monday and then come back to see what the judges thought.
If today is your first time hearing about the Blogger Blitz and you want to learn more, you can check out this post for an introduction of each blogger, character, and the full match schedule. If you’re curious about the rules of the competition, you can check out this post right here. And for the most up-to-date information on the Blogger Blitz and to see interactions between the competitors and judges, you definitely want to follow Adventure Rules on Twitter. Thanks for reading, adventurers, and I hope to see you next week for the next match of Blogger Blitz!